BCE Media hosts French-language specialty channel
(Business Wire; 05/21/99)

Starting January 2000, BCE MEDIA and its partners will be offering CANAL EVASION, a French-language specialty channel devoted solely to travel, tourism and adventure. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has granted CANAL EVASION a license allowing it to broadcast programming throughout Canada and in Europe aimed primarily at consumers who want to "escape."

The other members of the consortium, SERDY Direct Inc., TVA Group Inc. and European partners Groupe PATHE and Media Overseas, join BCE MEDIA in thanking the CRTC for the trust it has shown in granting this license. They would like to praise the role and support of all those who believed in and contributed to this project, now a reality. "The tourism industry is responsible for over 520,000 jobs in Canada, 100,000 of which are in Quebec. This new tourism showcase will be the ideal way for industry players to reach consumers effectively," declared Michel Chamberland, President and General Manager of CANAL EVASION.

Alain Gourd, President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE Media, is certain that the company's partners have the expertise to assemble the financial, human and technological resources needed to make CANAL EVASION the travel and adventure information service. "Our consortium has already demonstrated a good blend of savoir-faire and shared determination and can rely on the vast experience of each partner. This is the best guarantee of success."

A Strong, Capable Partnership

BCE Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BCE (Bell Canada Entreprises) group. Based in Montreal, the company also has offices and subsidiaries in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Vancouver. BCE Media is mandated to transmit, mainly via satellite, voice, images and data (television programming, broadcasting, multimedia, distance education, tracking and mobile communications). CANAL EVASION is the first specialty service license to be granted to BCE Media.

TVA Group, which broadcasts entertainment, information and public affairs programming, is the largest private French-language production company in North America. Among others, TVA produces Canal Nouvelles TVA, a continuous information specialty service. "After obtaining our national distribution status at the start of the month, the granting of this second specialty channel license proves that our development plan is successful. With CANAL EVASION, we are pleased to be able to optimize our production infrastructures and make the most of our television expertise," stated Daniel Lamarre, President and Chief Executive Officer of TVA Group.

SERDY Direct is a parent company of Serdy Video, an independent television production company whose programs are aimed at francophone and anglophone audiences tuned into major Canadian networks. Founded in 1978, Serdy Video focuses on sports and television magazines. Its weekly magazines Vins et Fromages and Fleurs et Jardins are broadcast on the TVA network and on TV5. SERDY Direct will be in charge of programming, and its President, Serge Arsenault, is extremely proud of CANAL EVASION's programming. "We will be in a position to offer high quality, which will improve the variety of French-language television shows with more than 60 percent Canadian content."

One Source, One Guide

Statistics on consumer purchasing habits have long stressed that television viewers want vacation and travel ideas tailored to every budget and time-frame. Each year Canadians play host to an average of 20 million tourists, and Quebec alone welcomes more than 3 million. Tourists spend more than $9 billion in Canada, including some $1.8 billion in Quebec. For these individuals, and for the entire industry striving to meet their needs, CANAL EVASION will serve as the undisputed source and practical guide offering travel information and advice to all those who enjoy discovery, adventure and vacationing. Every member of the industry will be able to showcase places to discover, spots to visit and offer vacation suggestions.

CANAL EVASION is ready to offer adventure and help people discover the world! CONTACT: BCE Media, Isabelle Hudon, (514) 285-8982.

{BusinessWire:WallStreet-0521.02388} 05/21/99


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